Rust and Bone @ The Ross

Stephanie (Marion Colliard) and Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts)

Stephanie (Marion Colliard) and Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts)

French director Jacques Audiard entices us to remember that life will compel us to fight for what we desire when we least expect it. His newest film Rust and Bone features two likeable but brooding characters forced to wade through life-altering catastrophes. The film centers on Stephanie, a trainer of Orcas played by Oscar winning actress Marion Cotillard, and Ali, played by Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts—two strangers who ‘bump’ into each other on an ordinary night at a disco, in an ordinary town called Antibes on the Cote A’Zur, France. Ali, a bouncer and a former prize-fighter, rescues Stephanie from a boisterous male patron, escorts her home, and leaves his phone number in the presence of her live-in boyfriend.

The film then moves between the disparate worlds of Stephanie and Ali, leaving the audience to ponder the connection between this handsome puissant boxer and very confident athletic trainer of Orcas.

Ali and Sam (Armand Verdure)

Ali and Sam (Armand Verdure)

Audiard enfolds Rust and Bone into day-to-day ordinariness, but releases a virtuoso of trials brought on by life’s obnoxious interruptions to bring Stephanie and Ali together. In one instance, Stephanie is an accomplished trainer of Orcas but none of her skills protects her when the killer whale ‘breaks character’ from a trained creature for human amusement at the marineland while she conducts a show. While she is recovering from her injuries, on impulse, Stephanie calls Ali. In another instance, Ali deeply loves his five-year-old son Sam, but Ali’s carelessness almost costs Sam his life. As Ali awaits word of Sam’s recuperation in the hospital, Ali asks Stephanie not to leave him.

The beauty of this film rests in exactly how these characters will wrestle for what is meaningful to them and if, in the end, they will find respite from and reward for enduring each trial.

Rust and Bone plays at The Ross through February 7.

Abridged Audio Version @ 42:12 http://tinyurl.com/bhwqhu6

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